Twin Cities food pantries seeking volunteers, donations to help with COVID-19 response

Food pantries are stocking up on food, money and volunteers as they prepare to help families deal with the coronavirus.

As millions of Americans are working to stay healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic, many are heading to grocery stores to stock up, but there are a lot of Minnesotans that rely on food banks to help them out.

Many of them are looking for donations and volunteers right now to help those in need in times of need.

Organizers say this situation is unlike any they’ve ever seen, which is why they’re calling on the community for help.

Until the shelves of local food pantries are stocked, volunteers like Dean Creighton are working.

“Some people are going to be in rough shape here these days,” Creighton said. “They can’t work or have to stay home with their kids and aren’t making any money and those of us that are blessed to have a good job and continue working and don’t have that problem feel like we can come out and do something a little extra special at this point.”

Second Harvest is now working on preparing emergency meals in an effort to help families that may be impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

“This is a time to come together,” said Allison O'Toole, CEO of Second Harvest. “To help our neighbors, our colleagues, who are food insecure. They deserve to have their cupboards and the stability to have things that we do it and will help us all if we do that.”

The situation is the same for those at the Sheridan Story, where emergency meals will go to kids in need when schools aren’t in session.

“We’re trying to prepare 330,000 meals to help support those families, but that won’t even meet the full need,” said Founder Rob Williams.

He says those meals will help support families in 31 districts across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“I think we knew it was going to be a situation at some point, but this is right around the corner and it is happening,” said Williams. “Districts are closing, states around us are closing, schools are closing. Kids, their schedules, their families are upended.”

You can find more information on The Sheridan Story and Second Harvest’s websites. You can also text "Sheridan" to 44321 to donate. 

Both groups accept monetary donations and volunteers.